Stories from the Peace Corps: Family, Acceptance, and a Cow’s Head

May 05, 2011 | Topics: Education Abroad, Leadership

By Jody K. Olsen

When do Peace Corps Volunteers know that they really belong? When does that moment come that we look back and say: “Wow, I was just one of the kids.” Over the years, I have asked Volunteers this question, and I’ve heard in their answers that surprise and wonderment of suddenly seeing themselves absorbed into others’ lives.

Anna had been in the Dominican Republic for about a year when she went back to the States for a couple of weeks. When she said good-bye before leaving, she knew that she loved her host mom and her mom’s friends and they her, but often the women’s conversations grew quiet or ceased when Anna walked toward the gossip bench where they sat. Even her host mom became more reserved.

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